Crescent Boat Club – a real gem!

After finishing The Flight, and feeling accomplished, and quite tired frankly, we just wanted a nice place to dock with heat/shore power. We discovered the Crescent Boat Club! It is just past nav buoy C “17” west of The Waterford Flight.

This member-owned club/facility breeds a very friendly fleet of boaters who love each other AND they welcome transients like us to join the fun!

They even accommodated an 80 foot yacht pictured here,

There were instant friends made in the clubhouse bar like Diane who also owns a Mainship 390 like us. Then there was Tammy and Joyce who offered to take me to West Marine and the local grocery store the next day. These folks would be offended if we used Uber!

Ray & Tammy

We got a slip easy for Shelly to get to, on a new dock , and we took hot showers, etc.

Joyce’s Chicken Chili was our supper on Monday night (Memorial Day). It was fantastic! Watch for the recipe.

“Going up!”

Shelly gets to do most of the work while we are “locking”.

She puts a line from our midship cleat around a cable that goes all the way from bottom to top of the chamber. Then she takes a “round turn” on the same cleat to hold the boat in-place as the chamber fills with water, bringing us up over 30 feet (typically) in elevation to the next level of the Erie Canal.

I get to drive the boat and take pictures!

If you look closely at the top of this Lock E4 you can see an eastbound boat in the [filled] chamber, waiting for the lockmaster to empty the water out, bringing him down to our level. Then we will enter the same chamber for the ride UP so we can proceed westward on this canal system.

First Locks to get us on the Erie Canal!

To get to the Erie Canal from the Hudson River one has to go through the Federal Lock at Troy NY whose “lift” is 17.3 feet. This is a look back at the Troy Lock chamber. Above this lock it is all fresh water, and there are no tides.

Soon after Troy Lock we saw this famous blue sign.

Boats continuing north on the Hudson end up in Lake Champlain and eventually Canada and the St Lawrence waterway.

We took a left to enter the historic Erie Canal. The first five locks on the Erie Canal are numbered E2 through E6, together they are known as the Waterford “Flight”. Combined with Troy the Flight brings our boat to Mohawk River, elevation: 184 feet above sea level!

Waiting for E2 to open…

All the turbulence seen here could only mean one thing!

The chamber is now emptying. East-bound boats will soon exit the chamber, and we will then get the “green light” to navigate into the lock chamber for a ride UP!

Thanks to Patrick, and off to Albany!

Everything today and after will be new to us! We have not navigated north of Kingston NY before. So we are ready for some new “ground”.

Patrick, the dockmaster at Kingston, gave me a ride into the shopping plaza this morning, and helped me shuttle groceries down to the boat when I got back. He was great!

We left mid-day to take advantage of the last tidal currents that we will see for months. Here you can see a 1.2 knot assist being reported by our Navionics App.

AIS-equipped navigation buoys were common today up the Hudson River. They transmit all the relevant info so they can appear on position on one’s chart plotter. This is great on a river like this.

Beauty along the Hudson…

My favorite section of the Hudson River captured in video:

Kingston’s waterfront:

includes a great seafood restaurant overlooking Shellerina’s berth for the night.

Earlier in the day we passed other favorite sights along the Hudson.

The riverside train rails are mostly for freight along the west shore; passenger rail is on the east shore. In this mountainous section of the Hudson River, we could see a tunnel carved out of the rock for the Metro North passenger trains.

More on doppler radar…

This image demonstrates doppler radar very effectively. We are heading up the Hudson River and there is a long freight train heading south to our west. The part of the train coming towards us gives a red echo. The part of the train moving away shows up as green! Everything stationary or not moving closer or away shows up as white.

Tidal current helped us head north up the Hudson River

Shelly took the helm for the final hour of the day; here she is preparing to clear the new Tappan Zee Bridge. This was still under construction last time we passed beneath her.

You can see she has on a headset with microphone. Ray has a pair on also. These are commonly called “marriage savers” by others doing The Loop. It helps the crew communicate while underway and while docking.

Headin’ into the “Big Apple”…

7:00am at Lawrence NY, Ron pushed us off for NYC and the Hudson River.

90 minutes later we took the big turn to north at Rockaway Point. (3/4 mile visibility in fog).

A large cargo ship is leaving NYC… look at the huge red and white radar echo it makes on the screen below! Shortly before taking this pic, it was under the Varrazano Narrows Bridge; it didn’t appear to have much vertical clearance left!

(With doppler radar, red echos are moving toward us, white are stationary objects or those neither moving closer or away. )

Modern day navigation electronics (GPS, AIS + Radar combined) make it fun in busy harbors like NYC.

Here is what the Varrizano Narrows Bridge looks like on radar.

Here it is in our wake as we steam north into New York harbor.

The fog burnt off as we met the lovely lady!

North of the city, we saw this gaff rigged sloop reaching across the Hudson before we got to the George Washington Bridge.

Eventful Day One…

9:50am last line

10:10 leave fuel dock

Noon Jones Inlet

12:20 Turn back

2:00 Lunch at Jordan’s Lobster

3:30 Lawrence Yacht Club

“Ron” helped with lines… great guy.

We will have to secure that dinghy a bit better for next passage!!!

Much calmer here inside of Long Beach Island! A famous restaurant. One of the few places around where Shelly can get real steamers!

Ray & Ron

Lawrence [municipal] Yacht Club, great spot… very close to East Rockaway Inlet, aka Debs Inlet.

Final Preparations…

Russ set up the forward looking CAM for our trip.

Russ also helped packing all our most valuable “stuff” into self storage… including good quality furniture gifted by Marlise Libby and her sister Carolyn Monday.

Tina, Shelly, Steve at the eleventh hour!

Russ, Shelly, and Ray

Many final hugs and kisses!

Our son Nick and his girlfriend Desiree.

Bon Voyage Gazebo Party at S-Dock

  • Saturday May 22 we had lots of friends come to see us before we push off for our trip, most of whom are listed here:
  • Russell
  • Tom & Lynn
  • Bobby & Amy
  • Marc & Colleen (overnight aboard Precious Cargo)
  • Jane
  • Helga
  • Pat
  • Betty
  • Arlene
  • Nick (our son) & GF Desiree
  • Grammy Jeanne
  • Jenn (Dez’s sister)
  • Veronica
  • Lily Grace
  • Nevaeh Sky (heaven spelled backwards!)
  • Alice & (daughter) Chelsea
  • It was a fantastic day, we are SO grateful to have so many friends to see us off!
  • Thank you all!
  • Time for some FUN!

    Mother’s Day started off very nice, weather-wise. I finished off some chores.

    Shelly came aboard and hung out downstairs in the salon.

    Lots of calls with family today!

    The afternoon’s weather turned ugly. So I decided to try out the newly mounted Ham Radio and antenna systems under the cover of canvas up on the bridge where I could stay dry and fairly warm with a jacket on.

    The console to the Ham Radio is shown here, just set up for some testing.

    It was a day to work out some kinks. But we prevailed over the technical challenges and made four shortwave (HF) contacts on the 20 Meter Band with:

    • Slovenia
    • Netherlands
    • Texas
    • Georgia
  • …with some great guys who appreciated making a “Maritime Mobile” contact with us (ham radio aboard a boat).
  • It was fun to take a break from all the projects and enjoy my old hobby, making distant contacts on Ham Radio. It was gratifying to know this humble station could “get out” for world-wide communications!
  • You don’t usually see an office telephone on a boat!

    The project of the day was to make permanent the wireless Internet network on the boat. I finally got around to removing the bubble gum and duck tape, and drilled holes to route all the antenna wires for the CAT 12 Dual modem wireless router. I also made progress on the IC-7100 ham radio. That should be finished tomorrow.

    This standard RingCentral office IP phone gets me access to my office’s direct dial number, it is powered by PoE (Power over Ethernet). First phone call from here on the dock was to my brother Russ in Maine who reported the the voice quality was “very clear”… I had him on speaker phone too.

    Down in the salon, (aka living room), or in the VIP “guest” stateroom I can also use my “soft phone” on the laptop computer for business calls and Zoom meetings. (Regardless of where I am working, the soft phone is actually used a LOT more than the regular office phone.)

    On the to-do list:

    I have to put a label on this telephone NOT to use it for 911 calls! Regardless of where our boat is in the world, emergency crews would be dispatched to my office at 5 Penn Plaza in midtown Manhattan!

    This shows the storage bin up on the flybridge which has been converted to an IT Closet. Contents: Pepwave CAT 12 Duo modem Internet router, PoE injector for telephone, Icom 7100 multi-band multi-mode base unit (ham radio). Six coax cable antenna leads come into this space for these devices.

    The two rabbit ear “paddles” are WiFi antennas.

    Here you can see 8 antenna feed line cables coming into the IT closet from the sun deck railings where all the antennas are mounted.

    There is a lot of valuable storage space being reallocated to “COM”. But that is part of what defines us on this boat!

    • Marine VHF
    • Marine SSB
    • Amateur Radio HF, VHF, UHF (aka HAM Radio)
    • WiFi. (2 GHz + 5 GHz)
    • LTE cell networks 4G + 5G (VZW & T-Mobile SIM cards)

    Davit with dinghy tested underway…

    Ray’s brother Russ from Edgecomb Maine visited with us for the weekend.

    We got sooo much done! We moved a bunch of furniture for our cruise, we hung the dinghy up in the davit and tried it out underway for the first time. PASS!

    Shelly and Russ making sure the dinghy is ready. On rainy days we can lower the dinghy’s stern to ensure the rain water drains out!